Bio energy includes three sources biogas, solid biomass and liquid bio fuel. Right now with 28 per cent of the world’s total cattle population India ranks as the top nation in the world as far as cattle strength is concerned. MNRE estimates that the total potential of energy from biogas generation stands at 17,350 million m3. As far as biomass is concerned the total potential of the resource stands at 565 million tons per year and additional 189 million tons from agricultural and forest residue which can help in creating of 25 GW of installed capacity. India’s liquid bio fuel plans include using non edible oils and non food feedstock like sugarcane molasses. Cattle manure is used in most biogas plants and it is estimated that 12 million family sized biogas plants can be installed in India. Also 1300 MW of extra energy can be generated by using industrial waste water from distilleries etc.
There are about 4 million family size biogas plants in operation across India. In large scale biogas category 70 plants have been installed with a capacity of 91 MW. Under distributed/grid power generation programme the ministry has installed 73 projects with a total capacity of 451 kWh. During the year 2009-2010 101,529 family size biogas plants were installed in India that resulted in saving of 120000 tonnes of fuel wood. Apart from this, 10 plants using industrial wastes were installed with a total capacity of 10 MW. At the end of June 2010 the total installed grid connected biomass power and bagasse cogeneration capacity was 2,322 MW. Though India’s bio-diesel processing capacity is at 200,000 tonnes per year but it remains under utilized for most parts of the year. Of the two sources of bio fuel ethanol and bio diesel, ethanol production saw a consistent decline for two years in a row between 200-2010 when it was at 50 million litres considerably less than the 600 million litres target. In the year 2009-2010, 80,000 litres of bio diesel was produced and sold to commercial establishments.
Indian Railways is the single biggest user of diesel in India consuming diesel worth $1.3 billion. To cut down its heavy dependence on diesel it has decided to use jathropa and non edible oil based diesel. The railways Plan to use 5 per cent biodiesel blend and later increase it to 20 per cent.
The National Biogas and Manure Management Programme (NBMMP) established in 1981 and still act as the guiding force for people across the country who wish to create a biogas plant. It runs 12 biogas training centres throughout India to develop indigenous technologies. Biogas Distributed/Grid Power Generation Programme (BPGP) on the other works on promoting small biogas based power generation programmes. The MNRE also initiated a programme called Demonstration of Integrated Technology Package on Biogas Generation Purification and Bottling. This programme has been initiated to figure out the feasibility of a system dedicated to generation to piped distribution of biogas.
As far as solid biomass is concerned the MNRE estimates that apart from 25 GW of potential already detected there is an additional 15 GW of cogeneration potential from industries including sugar mills, breweries, textile mills, distilleries, fertilizer plants, pulp and paper mills and rice mills. In June 2010 the total installed grid connected biomass power and bagasse cogeneration capacity in India stood at 2,322 MW.
The threat of climate change is looming on the globe and countries whether developed or developing, are in equal danger of suffering its ill effects. The United Nations body Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that the world economy will have to bring down its carbon emission by 80 per cent of 1990 level to maintain temperature rise within 2 degree centigrade. As energy sector accounts for more than 60 per cent of the total carbon emission it is imperative that steps are taken to make energy production cleaner. Renewables can play a big role in it. Some European countries like Portugal, Denmark and Spain have started aggressively pursuing renewable energy generation programme.
Globally all the nations have to bring down their carbon emissions by 70 gigatonnes by 2050 and renewables along with energy efficiency in process and appliances can help us in achieving the goal.